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College Republicans, Young Democrats argue politics at forum

The UNC chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. held a voter education forum which hosted arguments from both the Carolina College Republicans and  Young Democrats. Topics discussed included reform for health care, immigration and education. Kathryn Walker, the College Republicans Chair, answers a question from the panel.
The UNC chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. held a voter education forum which hosted arguments from both the Carolina College Republicans and Young Democrats. Topics discussed included reform for health care, immigration and education. Kathryn Walker, the College Republicans Chair, answers a question from the panel.

The UNC College Republicans and UNC Young Democrats discussed issues such as health care, education and immigration in front of more than 35 students.

The Mu Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. hosted the event to educate students on the candidates before the midterm election. Early voting begins Oct. 23.

“It is important for students to be informed so each vote that is cast is an informed one,” said Brandon Napier, president of the fraternity.

During her opening remarks, Kathryn Walker, chairwoman of UNC College Republicans, said Tillis believes in a smaller government that does not interfere in people’s lives when it’s unnecessary.

But Hagan is focused on building an economy that supports people at all income levels, said UNC Young Democrats fundraising chairman Tanner Glenn.

“Tonight is about a choice, and it is a choice that you’ll have to make in November,” he said.

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, is President Barack Obama’s signature achievement in office — but Walker said Tillis is not satisfied with the law and would likely try to replace it with a law providing subsidies to qualifying individuals for health insurance, but without an individual mandate.

The UNC Young Democrats attacked Tillis’ record on education funding, saying that he has lowered the state’s per-pupil spending as a lawmaker.

Walker emphasized Tillis’ commitment to providing students a quality education by raising teacher pay while balancing the state’s budget.

Both groups agreed that the immigration system is broken.

“It’s not safe to not know who is coming into the country,” Walker said in defense of securing the border.

The UNC College Republicans accused the UNC Young Democrats of using extreme language about the Republican platform to scare people, while the Democrats painted Tillis as a politician who has voted in favor of policies that only help the wealthy.

Walker concluded that Tillis understands parents who want to provide for their families.

“He understands opportunity in America. He will lower taxes and increase opportunities,” she said.

Wilson Parker, president of the UNC Young Democrats and director of state and external relations for student government, said Hagan has been working toward solutions during her time in Congress.

“She doesn’t believe it has to be her ideology every time. She doesn’t want the Senate to be a place with more people like Thom Tillis — people who say, ‘It is my way or the highway,’” he said.

The debate provided students with information on both candidates and their views on major issues.

“I didn’t do as much research on Thom Tillis as I did on Kay Hagan, so I think it was really interesting to see what he has actually supported in the N.C. legislature,” said Grace Buie, a freshman and member of the UNC Young Democrats.

state@dailytarheel.com

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